Health and Wellness briefs: July 18, 2017



West Springs Hospital names medical director

Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital have named Dr. Francis E. “Frank”  Lotrich, M.D., Ph.D., as medical director for West Springs Hospital.

Lotrich (pronounced law-trick) is an award-winning provider and scholar whose work is featured in more than 70 publications and has the expertise and experience essential to the smooth operation of the hospital, officials said in announcing his addition.

He comes to West Springs most recently from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he was an associate professor of psychiatry.

Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jules Rosen has known Lotrich since their time together at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and is quoted as saying, “As an M.D./Ph.D., he brings tremendous clinical skills that are grounded in a background of science and evidence-based care.”

Lotrich received his doctorate of medicine and doctorate in neuroscience at Oregon Health Sciences University, followed by psychiatric residency and clinical research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh.

He has served as an adviser for the Federal Drug Administration and is an associate member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Gypsy Root Farm offers meditation, stress relief


Every third Thursday, which includes later this week, Rooted Gypsy Farm sponsors Meditation for Stress Relief.

Spirit Star leads the meditation at 
6:30 p.m. at the farm at 2591 G Road.

It’s described as one hour of connection, relaxation and clarity in a soothing atmosphere. You should bring a mat (though mats are available), water bottle and possibly a pillow or blanket. Suggested donation is $12.

“During these sessions, I am able to offer ways to assist in the release of emotional, energetic, physiological and physical pains that many in our community suffer from,” Star said in an email.

“The keys to success are within us, and I have a passion for opening up an allowance within a person to align with how they truly want to feel.”

HopeWest recognized

for ‘elite’ status in 2017


HopeWest has been named a recipient of the 2017 Hospice Honors award for the second-consecutive year and is the only hospice in Colorado to receive “elite” status. This national award recognizes hospices that continuously provide the best patient and caregiver experience as measured from the caregiver’s point of view, the organization says.

HopeWest’s recognition from Deyta Analytics scored above the national average on 100 percent of the 58 questions, qualifying the organization for “elite” status for the first time.

Performance was based on surveys conducted during an 11-month period, evaluating participating hospices on a set of 24 quality measures rating patient care, team communication, emotional and religious support, help with symptoms, hospice care training and treating families with respect.

Learn about HopeWest’s awards and recognitions at

CHICAGO — Shootings kill or injure at least 19 U.S. children each day, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk, according to a government study that paints a bleak portrait of persistent violence.

The analysis of 2002-14 U.S. data is billed as the most comprehensive study on the topic. While it mostly confirms previously released information, it underscores why researchers view gun violence as a public health crisis.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involves children and teens through age 17. It was compiled by analyzing death certificates and emergency room reports.

Among the findings published last month in the journal Pediatrics:

■ The yearly toll is nearly 1,300 deaths and almost 6,000 nonfatal gunshot wounds — most of them intentional.

■ Most deaths result from homicides and suicides, while assaults caused most of the nonfatal injuries.

■ The annual death rate is nearly 2 out of 100,000 children — the rate is double for blacks — while nonfatal gunshot wounds injure almost 8 out of 100,000 kids each year.

■ Suicides increased from 2007-14, from 325 to 532. The suicide rate increased 60 percent over those years to 1.6 per 100,000. One-third of these kids were depressed and most had experienced a recent crisis, including relationship breakups and problems at school.

■ Homicides fell from 2007-14, from 1,038 to 699, the rate dropping by 36 percent to less than 1 per 100,000.

■ Most unintentional deaths resulted from playing with guns and unintentionally pulling the trigger. Most victims were bystanders although among kids up to age 10 in this group, more than 40 percent accidentally shot themselves.

The report notes that unintentional shooting deaths may be significantly underreported, which was highlighted in a report by The Associated Press and USA TODAY Network. The news organizations found during the first six months of 2016, minors died from accidental shootings — at their own hands, or at the hands of other children or adults — at a pace of one every other day, far more than limited federal statistics indicate.

Congress has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using federal money to advocate or promote gun control.

CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard said the congressional directive “does not prohibit CDC from conducting public health research into gun violence” and the agency continues to do so.

“Public health research is fundamental for understanding the problem and developing scientifically sound solutions,” said the study’s lead author, Katherine Fowler of the centers.

An accompanying editorial in the journal said it’s “both reasonable and wise” for doctors to talk about firearms safety with parents, particularly those who keep guns at home.

“It may help to remind ourselves and our parents that our message on safe gun storage in homes with children is similar to that of gun rights and sport shooting groups,” wrote Dr. Eliot Nelson of University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.


More than 42 percent of never-married adolescents ages 15-19 say they have had sex at least once.

Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics report that from 2011-2015, 42.4 percent of never-married girls (4 million) and 44.2 percent of never-married boys (4.4 million) had sexual intercourse.

Among the majority who had not had sex, the reasons varied. More than 35 percent of girls and almost 28 percent of boys said that it was against their religion or moral code.

A fifth of both boys and girls cited fear of pregnancy as the reason for abstaining. Almost 23 percent said they had not yet found the right person.

Researchers gathered the data from September 2011 to September 2015 in interviews with 20,621 men and women, including 4,134 teenagers. The sample is nationally representative.

According to the lead author, Joyce C. Abma, a demographer with the agency, sexual activity among teenagers declined sharply in the 1990s, leveling off in 2002.

Teenage pregnancy rates have also been declining, but the birthrate from 2011-2015 — 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15-19 — is much higher than the rate in, for example, Canada (13 per 1,000), France (seven) or Germany (five).

There were considerable variations by race and ethnicity among boys.

From 2011-2015, 42.8 percent of white boys, 45.7 percent of Hispanics and 58.6 percent of African-Americans had had sex at least once. The differences among girls by race and ethnicity were insignificant.

Sexual experience varied with living conditions. A significantly lower percentage of boys and girls who lived with both parents when they were 14 had had sex.

Boys, but not girls, were more likely to be sexually active if their mothers had not graduated from high school.

Most teenagers had their first sexual experience with someone with whom they were “going steady,” but 13 percent of girls and 27.3 percent of boys first slept with someone with whom they were “just friends.”

Condoms were by far the most common form of birth control — 97 percent of teenagers reported using them.

The second choice was withdrawal or the pill, with a little more than half reporting they used those methods.

About 17 percent used Depo-Provera, the injectable contraceptive, and much smaller percentages used a patch, an intrauterine device or an implant.

“The increase in contraceptive use has continued,” Abma said. “This is at least partly due to the wider variety of methods available. But given the large percent that still use methods such as the condom and withdrawal, which have higher failure rates, there’s lot of improvement left to go.”


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